If Not Now, When: Addressing Gender-based Violence in Refugee, Internally Displaced, and Post-Conflict Settings

Friday, June 14, 2002


Women in rural Nigeria Use ICT for Peace
The Bayanloco Community Learning Centre in Kaduna State, Nigeria, an initiative of the Fantsuam Foundation led by Kazanka Comfort provides
basic computer literacy classes to women to allow them to act as detectors of potential flash-points of communal violence and as peace brokers.
Ms. Comfort sensed that fast communication among the rural women could mean the difference between life and death in an emergency situation. In 2001, the initiative won the first Association for Progressive Communication Africa Hafkin Communications Prize in recognition of its outstanding and creative uses of ICT (APC 08/01/2001)/

Panel Discussion on Gender Mainstreaming
The Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women Division for the Advancement of Women in collaboration with Division for ECOSOC Support and Coordination recently held a panel discussion on Gender Mainstreaming in the Functional Commissions of ECOSOC. A summary of the discussion will be available shortly. For the press release please visit: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/panel-gender/index.html

Gleitsman Foundation Award to Honour International Activists: Deadline for Nominations: 15 November 2002
The foundation's International Activist Award is designed to honor individuals in the international community who have inspired change and motivated others in the realm of social activism. Women working on the implementation of SC R1325 should apply. For more information on guidelines and nomination procedures visit: http://www.gleitsman.org
For More News please go to: http://www.peacewomen.org/news/newsindex.html



Getting Women's Voices Heard in the Security Council
Ambassador Arria of Venezuela, through inviting members to gather over coffee in the Delegates' Lounge to hear the views of a Bosnian priest in 1993, created what has become known as the 'Arria Formula', an informal exchange between Council members and NGOs. The Arria Formula has been usedmore regularly since 1999 to provide expertise and testimony on thematic issues taken up by the Council, in a forum that is outside the Council chamber strictly off-the-record and unofficial. Only delegates, high government officials (or Council members) and United Nations officials, who were mostly men historically, could speak at regular Council meetings and consultations. Arria Formula meetings have become an effective way for women to express their concerns, share their experiences and raise awareness of the need to have women included in all decision-making fora.

Since 2000, when SC members met with women from conflict zones in an Arria Formula, they have been used on occasion as a means for women to brief the SC in international peace and security issues. In the 2000 closed meeting, women from South Africa, Sierra Leone, Somalia, and Guatemala presented concrete experiences of women, adolescent girls, and girl children in armed conflict. They raised concerns of grassroots movements of women committed to preventing and solving conflicts and bringing peace, security, and sustainable development to their communities. On October 2001, the second "Arria Formula"
meeting was held between the SC delegations and Women's NGOs at the UN Headquarters in New York. Women from East Timor, Afghanistan, and Kosovo / Federal Republic of Yugoslavia met with Security Council members to describe their experiences of war. For the speeches and description of the two Arria Formulas please visit: http://www.peacewomen.org/un/UN1325/1325index.html

The creation of Arria Formulas women have allowed women to directly dialogue with council members. Before Arria Formulas, delegates, high governmental officials, and UN officials, who were mostly men, were the only people who could speak at regular Council meetings and consultations. Arria Formula meetings provide opportunities to have informal, confidential dialogue among Security Council (SC) members, non-members and NGOs to provide information and assessment on issues related to peace and security.

The Benefits of Arria Formulas
- Arria Formulas have been an effective way to have informal and off- the -record discussions with SC members that can be more constructive and productive than they would be otherwise.
- The speeches made at Arria formulas are practical ways of sending clear high-level messages back to decision-makers in states' capitals since delegates at the UN always report on these meetings.

These reports include NGOs statements.

- During Informal consultations Member States can draw from and refer to more controversial points presented by NGOs in an Arria Formula without directly supporting the position or seeming like they actively sought these ideas out themselves. The Arria creates a level playing field since states can call on statements made by NGOs at an Arria Formula. NGOs statments are placed on record thus Member States can more easily refer to NGO statements, ideas and issues raised because they were discussed in the setting of an Arria Formula.
- They open the opportunity for NGOs to have a dialogue with relevant diplomats in Security Coucil member missions before and afterward the Formulas.
- It is the only way for NGOs to directly interact with the Security Council as a whole and remind them of unfulfilled commitments.
- They provide an opportunity to expand the thinking of the Security Council beyond its traditional boundaries. The Arria Formula held in October 2000 allowed the Security Council to begin thinking about the participation of women in decision-making and peace processes; gender perspectives and training in peacekeeping; the protection of women; and gender mainstreaming in United Nations reporting systems and programmatic implementation mechanisms.

Limitations of Arria Formulas
- These meetings can be tightly structured, with some delegations sending junior staff who may not be inclined to engage in the discussions.
- It can be difficult to negotiate the country situations that would be given exposure, with some NGO representatives from countries on the Council agenda being rejected.
- The UN interpretation of dialogue - the reading of prepared texts - when anticipating actual discussion can be disappointing to participants.
- Women in the field and women working at the international level may experience a tension between making their voices and truth heard and an agenda and style quite foreign to their culture as activists and women.

Recent Arria Formula Meetings
- One Palestinian woman and one Israeli woman addressed the Security Council on May 7th in an Arria Formula organized by Equality Now. For more information on the Palestinian and Israeli women's addresses to the Security Council please visit: http://www.peacewomen.org/campaigns/featured/middle%20east/mideastindex....
On 21st May Amnesty International (AI), Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) briefed the UN Security Council on the
"Humanitarian and Human Rights Situation in the Mano River Union". For more information please contact: ai-un-ny@amnesty.org

Resolution 1325 has a broad global constituency, supported by a vibrant women's movement that has welcomed the political legitimacy given by the Council to their long struggle for a seat at the negotiating table. The opportunities presented by Arria Formula meetings to give testimony,
recommendations and to respond to questions have been important rallying and organizing opportunities for NGOs who have widely advertised and reported on their input to these meetings to the press and through their networks. As a result, women's NGOs have felt more interested and invested in monitoring the SC and have been encouraged to insist that the actions of its peacekeeping missions in the field are consistent with decisions taken at the United Nations.

Arria Formula meetings now commonly occur and often include a mixture of both formal presentations and off the record discussions. Resolution 1325 expressed the Council's willingness to ensure that missions to the field take into account gender considerations, 'including through consultation with local and international women's groups'.

Although the Security Council members have been open to meeting with women in Arria Formula meetings, pressure needs to double on encouraging the Security Council to uphold to their commitments of SC 1325 and meet with women's organizations on the ground when they conduct missions to countries on the Council agenda.

1.Global Policy Forum: http://www.globalpolicy.org
2. United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research: http://www.unog.ch/unidir/2-01-e5%20hill.pdf
3. NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security: http://www.unog.ch/unidir/2-01-e5%20hill.pdf

Previous Analysis done on the 1325 PeaceWomen E-news can be found online at http://www.peacewomen.org/news/1325News/1325ENewsindex.htm

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Friends of Women, Peace and Security
The Friends of Women, Peace and Security is an inter-governmental group, bringing together those states that are particularly supportive of 1325. The group recently met in June hosted by the Permanent Mission of the UK, to share information and strategize on the effective implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325. Participants examined the content, role, and potential impact of the upcoming reports of the Secretary-General working with an inter-agency task force and of independent experts working with UNIFEM. Representatives from Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) presented some of their efforts to mainstream gender including a mutlidimensional training that looks at gender issues and a train-the-trainer package on gender issues that has been used in four peacekeeping missions so far.

Participants agreed on the urgent importance of a gender unit at DPKO that will serve as a focal point to effectively implement and monitor gender mainstreaming in peacekeeping. The Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) did not allocate funds in DPKO's most recent budget for a senior gender advisor and requested a more coherent policy to consider this issue for the next budgetary year.
The Friends will remain seized of this matter.

The NGO presence at this meeting was significant. The NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security highlighted its recent efforts to integrate women'sparticipation in the Security Council visit to the Great Lakes. The Working Group coordinator announced the release of a report on women's participation in Security Council visits that can be found on peacewomen.org at http://www.peacewomen.org/un/ngo/pubs.html. In addition, member organizations are working actively on the implementation of 1325 on the ground, including consultations and trainings with local women's organizations. The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, the Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, and the Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict also highlighted their recent activities to promote women, peace and security on the ground and at the policy level. These NGOs have made significant contributions to the UN reports and local, national, regional, and international activities mandated in Resolution 1325. In the upcoming months, they will be mobilizing a larger constituency of NGOs to get involved and use their information and resources to support women, peace and security.

The United Kingdom will hold the Presidency of the Security Council in July 2002; for more information see their official webpage at: http://www.ukun.org/scp2002/xq/asp/Sarticletype.22/other_ID.74/qx/othe r_show.htm.

Many friends of women, peace and security hope that this presidency will provide opportunities to examine gender issues in peace and security more in-depth and plan concrete actions. Friends of Women, Peace and Security have included the Permanent Missions of Bangladesh, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Guinea, Jamaica, Korea, Mexico, Namibia, Norway, Tanzania, UK, USA, Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women, Division for the Advancement of Women, DPKO, UNIFEM, Amnesty International, Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security and other members.

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Security Council Resolution 1325 - One Year On. This document records what Intergovernmental Bodies, Governments and Non-Governmental Organisations have accomplished one year since Security Council Resolution 1325 was passed. This annotated listing of activities is impressive and encouraging, but is also incomplete.

This ongoing work in progress will appear on http://www.peacewomen.org to provide a sense of the activities, initiatives, publications and decisions taken since October 2000, including some key events and documents that occurred beforehand. If you have additions, please send them to info@peacewomen.org. For the full document please visit: http://www.peacewomen.org/un/UN1325/since1325.html
For more information on women and the UN please visit: http://www.peacewomen.org/un/unindex.html

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Women are Organising themselves in Australia
At a national Women's Constitutional Convention on June 13, 2002 in Canberra (Australia), WILPF sponsored a workshop on Security Council Resolution 1325. For many present, it was the first time they had heard about this historic resolution. Clearly there is significant work to be done to both disseminate information and to engage more women in the process. The aim of the workshop was to provide an opportunity to learn about and become involved in a worldwide campaign sponsored by the UN to involve, support and protect women more fully in every aspect of the peace process which is based on UN Security Council Resolution 1325. For the outcomes of the workshop please visit: http://www.peacewomen.org/campaigns/regions/asia/australia.html

WILPF-ACT has applied to do another workshop around SC R1325 at the Townsville International Women's Conference "Poverty, Violence and Women's Rights: Setting a Global Agenda", July 3-7, 2002, James Cook University, Townsville, North Queensland, Australia. Delegates are coming from most Asia & Pacific countries as well as from many indigenous ( First Nation) communities. International women's conference. For more information: Email: bettymc@austarnet.com.au or Website: http://www.tiwc.asn.au

For more PeaceWomen campaigns please visit: http://www.peacewomen.org/campaigns/outreachindex.html

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Women in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
As women suffer crimes of war and sexual violence in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, their needs and experiences must be addressed in peace negotiations, peacebuiding, and reconstruction. Resolution 1325 calls for a greater "participation of women at decision-making levels in conflict resolution and peace processes." Due in part to a senior gender advisor in the UN Mission to the Congo (MONUC), women have had some opportunities to participate in the peace processes in DRC, but as the Inter Congolese Dialogue continues in South Africa, women are still under-represented. As agreements are reached, states involved in this armed conflict must "put an end to impunity and to prosecute those responsible for war crimes, including those relating to sexual and other violence against women and girls," according to Resolution 1325.

PeaceWomen recommends a newly released bilingual NGO report that lays out the gravity and effects of women's experiences of war and sexual violence in the DRC:

The War Within the War: Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls in Eastern Congo
Human Rights Watch, June 2002
In the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, warring parties carry out a war of sexual violence against women and girls. As military activities increases, so do rapes and other crimes against women and girls. This report is based on research carried out in North and South Kivu provinces, an area controlled since 1998 by rebel forces fighting the government of President Kabila, the Rassemblement congolais pour la démocratie (RCD) and their patron, the Rwandan army. Sexual violence has been used as a weapon of war by most of the forces involved in this conflict, frequently and sometimes systematically raping women and girls. http://www.peacewomen.org/campaigns/featured/drc/drccamppet.html

La guerre dans la guerre: Violence sexuelle contre les femmes et les filles dans l'est du Congo
Human Rights Watch, juin 2002
Dans le cadre de la guerre dans l'est de la République Démocratique du Congo (RDC), les parties impliquées mènent une guerre de violence sexuelle contre les femmes et les filles. Alors que les activités militaires augmentent dans une région, les viols et autres crimes contre les femmes et les filles suivent la même progression. Ce rapport s'appuie sur des recherches conduites dans les provinces du Nord et du Sud Kivu, une région contrôlée depuis 1998 par les forces rebelles luttant contre le gouvernement du Président Kabila, le Rassemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie (RCD) et son protecteur, l'armée rwandaise. La violence sexuelle a été utilisée comme une arme de guerre par la plupart des forces impliquées dans ce conflit qui ont violé des femmes et des filles de façon fréquente et parfois systématique.

To know more about women, peace and security in the DRC see our featured campaign in French and English: http://www.peacewomen.org/campaigns/featured/drc/drcindex.html. For a comprehensive annotated bibliography of books, articles and analyses on women's peace theory and activities, as well as NGO position papers, reports, speeches, statements and tools for organisational building. Please go to: http://www.peacewomen.org/resources/resindex.html

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International Training, "Nonviolence in the context of War and Armed Conflict".
July 5 - 21, 2002: Wustrow, Germany
This is an international nonviolence training in the English language, specifically designed for those working or planning to work in areas of war or armed conflict. The training starts on 5 July 2002 with dinner and ends on 21 July 2002 with lunch. Participants must commit to attend the whole training. The training is particularly intended for: activists from local peace, human rights and reconciliation groups; volunteers or persons interested in nonviolent third-party intervention; persons shaping pedagogical approaches for educating populations in crisis areas; persons working with refugees. For more information: Petra Titze (Öffentlichkeitsreferentin) 05843-9871-34; Bildungs- und Begegnungsstätte für gewaltfreie Aktion e.V., KURVE Wustrow, Kirchstr. 14, D-29462 Wustrow, Germany; e-mail: info@kurvewustrow.org

Women's World Conference 2002: Gendered Worlds: gains and challenges
21-26 July 2002, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
The Department of Women and Gender Studies, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda is organizing the Womens Worlds 2002, 8th International Interdisciplinary Congress on Women, making Uganda the first African country to host the congress. The congress will be held between the 21st - 26th July, 2002 at Makerere University Campus in Kampala, Uganda. The congress theme is "Gendered Worlds: Gains and Challenges" and the sub-themes have been selected to ensure special focus on African Perspectives, Young Voices, Celebrating Multiculturalism and Diversity, and North-South Perspectives. Contact: isis@starcom.co.ug. Please visit: http://www.peacewomen.org/frame/calendar/calendar.html#jul02

Uganda: Know How Conference
23-27 July 2002, Kampala
To build and consolidate powerful relationships between participating organizations, in order to create new programs to make information on the position of women, and for women, highly accessible and visible. La Conference Know How de Kampala qui aura lieu du 23 au 27 juillet 2002 a l'Universite Makerere est la cinquieme conference internationale de specialistes de la collecte et de la dissemination d'information pertinente aux femmes. Please visit: http://www.peacewomen.org/frame/calendar/calendar.html#jul02

For more calendar events please visit: http://www.peacewomen.org/frame/calendar/calendar.html

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Bat Shalom
Bat Shalom is a feminist peace organization of Israeli women and together with the Jerusalem Center for WOmen, comprise the Jerusalem Link. "We work toward a just peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors that includes recognition of a Palestinian state side-by-side with Israel and Jerusalem as the capital of both. Within Israel, Bat Shalom works toward a more just and democratic society shaped equally by men and women."
PO Box 8083, 43 Emek Refain St., Jerusalem 91080
Ph#: 972-2-5631477
Email: batshalom@netvision.net.il
Website: www.nif.org or www.batshalom.org

For an extensive database of organizations worldwide working on women and peace issues, go to: http://www.peacewomen.org/contacts/conindex.html

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This Edition of PeaceWomen E-News features:

1. Current 1325 E-News
2. Analysis of 1325: Women's Voices in the Security Council Chambers
3. Feature 1325 Organization: NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security
4. PeaceWomen and the United Nations
5. PeaceWomen Calendar Events
6. Resources on Women, Peace and Security
7. Featured PeaceWomen Contact